A little bit of everything in my life!

Monthly Archives: June 2011

I was very excited indeed when I read about Bare Escentuals Pretty Amazing Lipcolor over on Beaut.ie and knew I had to have one or two shades when Aifs got her hands on Courage (a warm strawberry shade) and posted a photo on Twitter so I went on an online mission to find it!

I came across it first on Beauty Bay’s site for £12.29 with shipping costing £3.50 for the first item and 50p for each additional item.

Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Pretty Amazing Lipcolor 4mlA few days later I got an email from Feel Unique offering 10% off all Bare Escentuals and immediately, I logged on to discover that all the Pretty Amazing shades were in stock so I popped two into my basket, namely Courage and Bravado for a total of £22.95 including free shipping. The normal price of these without the discount is £12.75 each.

So I thought I’d share my find with you and will let you know when they arrive!


Well, I survived – barely! I’ve finally recovered and thought I’d share some of the fun.

On the Friday afternoon, I headed off with my chief bridesmaid (who is also one of my sisters), best friend and Almost-Sister-in-Law for what would be an epic hen weekend. After a few initial detours, we made it to Kenmare in record time and hit the shops for some supplies – the usual kind of things really: bread, milk, Jack Daniels, cider!! Then we followed the directions to what would be our home for the weekend, Eclipse Activity, Adventure & Equestrian Centre which is located close to Blackwater Bridge, about 10 minutes outside the town of Kenmare.

The location is amazing, it’s surrounded by mountains and spectacular views of Kerry – we were impressed! We had rented two houses for the weekend and were delighted to find that they were tastefully decorated and included all modern conveniences.

Eclipse Centre Accommodation


The kitchen and dining area

  Once we’d had a look around, we cracked open the bubbly, soaked up the fantastic Kerry sunshine and waited for the other ladies to arrive. Thankfully, everyone found the place easily and we tucked into a fantastic dinner prepared by both of my sisters and of course, some more bubbly. We had decided to take it easy for the night as it had been a long week and we know what was in store for us the next day!

Well rested, we woke up to more sunshine and enjoyed a yummy breakfast while waiting for a few more ladies before meeting up with Athos, the owner of the centre. I had picked the activities at the time of booking but only the bridesmaids knew what they were so the rest of the ladies waited nervously to hear what I’d planned.

The day began we a short orienteering challenge to warm us up and then the fun really began! When I found the Eclipse Centre online, I knew that the assault course had to be tackled so that was our next challenge. It consisted of about 16 obstacles including hurdles, a tunnel, a high wall, tyre climbing, monkey bars and of course, a few muddy things! We had to work as a team to get everyone over all obstacles in a given time – we had built up a lot of credits through orienteering so if someone was unable to complete a part of the challenge that was ok too.

Once we’d attacked the assault course, it was time for lunch then down to the lake for some raft building – we were given two canoes, 3 timber floats, a pole, a paddle and lots of rope to make a raft which would carry us all around the island in the centre of the lake and back. After a few dodgy attempts, we finally secured the raft and set it in the water praying that it would float – it did! We all jumped on and with very wet bums, sailed triumphantly around the lake in a record time of 7 minutes.

We were well and truly exhausted at this stage so we set off back to the reception area where a nice bubbling jacuzzi, sauna and steam room awaited us. I was delighted that everyone really enjoyed the day and would highly recommend Athos and his staff at the Eclipse Centre.

Of course, the hen party didn’t end here, in fact it only began but that’s another story!

On Monday evening, I got that all important call from my seamstress – my wedding dress was ready.

My dress had come into the shop in March but needed some altering so a few weeks ago, I took it to a local seamstress who came highly recommended by both the dress shop and other brides alike. I fitted on the dress with my shoes and the pinning began – although it had come in tailored to my height, when I fitted it on, it was agreed that the dress needed to come up ever so slightly, it also needed to be taken in (thankfully, not let out!) as well as deciding on the style of bustle that would best suit the gown.

On Wednesday night, along with my mother and one of my sisters who is also my chief bridesmaid, I set off for my fitting. I was a little nervous beforehand as this would be the first time I’d see “my” dress as it would look on the wedding day. However, there was no need for nerves – I stepped into it and was thrilled with the work that had been done on my dress – it really was perfect.

Both my sister and my mother need alterations to their dress so once they’d been pinned and tucked, we headed off again – my dress will now be pressed and will be ready to be collected two weeks before the big day.

Yet another tick off my never-ending list!

Two weeks ago I ordered 3 books from Book Depository – they were offering  a 10% discount on their already low prices as well as free delivery so how could a girl resist?!

All 3 books were delivered separately but arrived within a week – the first book is “Beautiful” by the amazingly brave, Katie Piper. I’ve watched a number of documentaries featuring Katie and really admire her courage and determination so am looking forward to reading her book.
The other 2 books are both make up related namely, “Make-Up Masterclass” by Jemma Kidd and “Makeup: The Ultimate Guide” by Rae Morris. Both books are well structured and similar in their layout – they begin by discussing the basic kit and tools and then move onto tutorials to achieve different looks.
Jemma Kidd goes into more detail about skincare, skin tone and tips for ladies of all ages. While she does promote her own products, she also recommends many other brands.
Both books are suitable for beginners and professionals alike however, I think Make-Up Masterclass is better value for money and would make a great present for any make up enthusiast.

Makeup: The Ultimate Guide – Rae Morris

Step-by-step guide to perfect eyebrows
How to achieve each look with images and instructions

Make-Up Masterclass – Jemma Kidd
Colours suitable for each skin tone
Guide to eyeshadow application
Steps to achieve various looks

(Apologies for the quality of the images – took these quite late in the evening under artifical light)

Technically it’s not a NOTD post as I had it done last Thursday but I’m sure you’ll forgive me!
After work on Thursday, I headed to Fifth Avenue, Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork to redeem a Citydeal voucher I purchased a few months ago. The voucher was €18 and entitled me to a “Pamper Experience including Eyebrow Tint, French Manicure and Mini French Pedicureand I was really looking forward to relaxing for an hour or so.

I had checked out the salon’s website before purchasing the deal and thought it looked great, however, there are a lot more stations packed into the salon than are shown in the photos on the site.

I was greeted by a friendly lady who led me to the back of the salon where three pedicure chairs were crammed into a pretty tight area – the two other chairs were occupied by ladies reading magazines so I hopped up onto the closest one and the therapist took my bags. I immersed by feet in very hot water and she proceeded to clip my toenails, all fine until she took my right foot to buff my nails but instead buffed the skin and cuticle around my big toe vigourously until it started to bleed – I yanked my foot away and she just grabbed it and continued. She then took my left foot and believe it or not, managed to do the exact same thing to the second toe – I was pretty annoyed at this stage and it became obvious that she was being careless and rushing to get me out of there. At this stage, the three therapists were all talking between themselves in another language which made me feel slightly paranoid!! She then French manicured my toes using CND Stickey base coat, Essence tip painted, an Essie pink and top coat – must say, she did a great job! 

There is a spiral stairs behind the pedicure area which leads up to a treatment room – anytime any client or therapist wanted to get to the stairs, they had to squeeze past each pedicure station, bumping off the therapist’s chairs – not great space planning. I was asked if I wanted to have my brows tinted or not, I guessed that a lot of clients didn’t avail of this aspect of the deal and I opted not to either as I don’t normally tint my brows. Flip flops were then placed on my feet and as she led me to the manicure area, she did apologise briefly for cutting my skin.

So far, not a very pampering experience!

I took a seat and the therapist asked what shaped I’d like my nails and began to file them – my nails are quite short at the moment but I was very happy with the results, photo below:

My French Manicure

I was told to wait for 10 – 15 minutes before putting on my sandals to leave and then the therapist bid me goodbye and headed for home.

My nails were perfect on Friday but by yesterday morning, they had chipped quite badly:

Day 2 – chipped

Overall, I was happy with the results of both the manicure and pedicure, minus the cuts of course but I really don’t think I’ll be returning to Fifth Avenue as it was a bit like an assembly line and I certainly wasn’t made feel special or pampered in any way. Glad I only paid €18 for the experience!

After a few bad online shopping from House of Fraser, I decided to give them one more chance to redeem themselves after all, they did issue me a voucher as a gesture of goodwill.

I love Laura Mercier cosmetics – their primer is definitely a HG product for me along with the brow kit and some of their beautiful makeup brushes. I am getting married in 6 weeks time (eeek) and am having my makeup done by a good friend who is a freelance makeup artist who trained with Laura Mercier and is still an ambassador of their products.

As I browsed HoF’s site, I spotted the Laura’s Secrets Flawless Lip set (as below) which was priced at £39.00, (not a bad priced considering 3 of the items add up to £48.00 individually) and just knew I had to have it! I logged onto one of my favourite blogs, Beaut and was reliably informed by a few fellow readers that HoF were in fact starting a two day event that evening which would include a 10% discount on cosmetics – happy days I thought!

I logged back onto HoF later than evening and was delighted to discover that the above set had been reduced to £17.55, less than half price! Spurred on by this and my sheer curiosity, I decided to see what other bargains were to be had and to make a long story short I end up buying the 3 sets below for a total of £58.95 with free delivery:

Set 1: Laura Mercier Celebration Face Palette (£18.90)

Set 2: Laura Mercier Colour Wardrobe (£22.50)

Set 3: Laura Mercier Laura’s Secrets Flawless Lips (£17.55)

I’m delighted to say that my order from HoF arrived hassle free this time!

I will blog about each set individually as I use them but for now, I’m just staring at their prettiness!!

Today is a big day – our wedding invitations landed on the doormats of the houses of our friends and families.

Thought I’d give you all a sneak peak at them – the photos are of a sample invitation I received and an image from the suppliers, I forgot to photograph our own before sending them.

So what do you think?

Hello and welcome to my blog!

I decided to start this blog as a way of recording my life as such, not that I wish to rant on about what I do on a daily basis because, let’s face it that wouldn’t make for very interesting reading. However, I do intend to blog about my interests which include a hell of a lot of cosmetics, fashion, fitness and reading and would love to hear your views and feedback too.

Please bear with me while I get to grips with Blogger, I haven’t used it before so I’m aware that the appearance of my blog is a bit rough around edges at the moment but hopefully, not for long!

If you would like to contact me, my email address is: thesecretlifeofemz@gmail.com